Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Enriching Your Cat's Life

Tips To Make Your Cat's Life More Invigorating

Many of our cats are left alone for hours a day while we go off to work and tend to our busy lives. As we drive off we don't realize our cats could get lonely or worse, bored or depressed. Meeting the needs of your cat may it be social, play, or exercise is essential to their well being. When we as pet owners are unaware of the specific needs of our cats and their inability to express normal behavior patterns it may lead to those dreaded undesirable behaviors. Many of those behaviors include eating disorders, attention seeking behaviors, anxiety issues, compulsive disorders, self injury and/or aggressions.

Outdoor cats spend a great deal of time hunting which is why a cats natural instincts must also be considered when they live solely indoors. You may notice your cat being playful but it will suddenly turn into an agressive attack on you or other animals in the the home. Your cat may often perch on places you don't approve of due to their innate climbing abilities. Lastly, marking its indoor terrirtory using nails and/or urine is another normal but highly undesirable behavior.

All felines need an environment that is safe and novel but complex enough to meet their needs. Cats to some extent need to control their environment and what happens to them. They also must have meaningful human interaction. By better understanding your cats needs and wants, you can give them a more enriching environment for a long and happy life.

The following will describe simple techniques for keeping indoor cats happy:

Toileting Areas
Litter boxes need to be in a private quite area. If you have more than one cat in your home, you should hav etwo boxes and try to use boxes without a cover to cut down on trapped smells. Most importatnly, scoo the box on a daily basis.

Rotating toys increased play and minimizes habituation of the play response. Cats are easily bored so if your kitty stops playing with a certain toy, take it away and add a new toy. Cats enjoy toys that are light, move easily and can be picked up easily.

Scratching Behavior
Try to keep a scratching post in areas that are easily accessible and visited by the cat frequently. Purchasing a scratching post with Sisal (a strong rope like material) will last longer than just carpet and provide better results for your cat.

Try to increase the complexity if obtaining food in your home. You can try feeder toys, multiple food bowls throughout your home, hiding treats in boxes or food puzzles.

Climbing or Resting
There are simple structures that can be used for your cat at home. A tall bookcase with an empty shelf, window perches and/or cat towers. Cat beds, tunnels, boxes and/or large paper bags can be used as resting or hiding places.

Human Interaction
A high percentage of cats enjoy being with their owners. Simple pleasures such as sitting on your lap, being pet or even training are meaningful interaction to your cat.

From all of us here at the Scottsdale Cat Clinic, we hope this article helped inspire you to enrich your cats life!

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